We find that a measure of aggregate corporate debt maturity choices strongly predicts real GDP growth. The new measure compares well with other strong GDP predictors from recent literature, is no less robust/stable, and distinct from spread-related variables. We develop a novel theory of firm debt maturity choice explaining these findings: In anticipation of inefficient firm operations during non-contractible negative expected profitability states, long-term lenders charge more interest. When choosing debt maturity, firms balance this against the higher cost of refinancing short-term debt. Maturity choices are more sensitive to profit anticipation whereas default spreads are more sensitive to profit dispersion.